By: Ryan Nobles
When you stack them up on paper, Ed Gillespie (R) the newest contestant for statewide office in Virginia, has an awful lot in common with Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), the man who just won a big statewide race.
They are both in their 50s.
They are both Irish Catholics.
They both graduated from The Catholic University of America.
They were both born in the northeast.
They are both tight with former presidents.
They are both millionaires who made their money, in part, through their deep politcial ties.
They both served as the chairs of the respective national parties.
McAuliffe made some news today when he told the Associated Press that Sen. Mark Warner, will "crush" the GOP challenger if Gillespie successfully earns the republican nomination.
But while Warner is Gillespie's competition it is McAuliffe that he has the most in common with. The two men have a remarkably similar path to political prominence. One could argue that the new democratic governor may have paved the way for a man like Gillespie to legitimately seek statewide office in Virginia.
In fact Gillespie and McAuliffe were often seen together on television and in speaking engagements for a good part of the early 2000's when their paths as party chairman crossed.
And the same attacks that republicans used to dust up McAuliffe in the last election cycle are now quickly being recycled by democrats to attack Gillespie. "D.C. lobbyist", "political crony" & "Beltway insider" were common shots at McAuliffe in 2013.
We are only a few days into the 2014 campaign of Gillespie and democrats are up with billboards leveling similar blows at the republican hopeful.
And while Gillespie and McAuliffe have a lot in common, when it comes to policy and positions they are miles apart. That is why you shouldn't be too surprised when you see the sitting governor go all out to support his fellow democrat over the next several months.